ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774-1843), an eminent English poet, was born at Bristol.
He became one of the foremost writers of an age famous for its literary men.
He was associated with Wordsworth and Coleridge in the “Lake School” of
poetry. Chief poems : Thalaba, an Eastern Tale; Madoc; and The Curse of

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was as still as she could be ;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel * was steady in the ocean.

Reel, the bottom of a

ship. 5 Without either sign or sound of their shock,

The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The good old Abbot* of Aberbrothok*

Abbot, head of an

abbey. 10 Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock ;

Aberbrothok, Ar-
On a buoy* in the storm it floated and swung, broath, Forfar.
And over the waves its warning rung.

shire, Scotland.

Buoy, a floating cask When the rock was hid by the surge's* swell, fastened by a rope or

or piece of wood, The mariners* heard the warning bell ; chain, to mark dan15 And then they knew the perilous* rock,

gerous places, or the

position of a ship's And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok.

anchor, &c.

Surge, the swell or The sun in heaven was shining gay,

rise of the sea.

Mariner, a seaman
All things were joyful on that day ;
The sea-birds scream'd as they wheel'd around, Perilous, very dan-

. 20 And there was joyance* in the sound.

Joyance, joyfulness,

The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen,
A darker speck on the ocean green ;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk'd his deck, *

Deck, the floor or cop.
And he fix'd his eye on the darker speck.

ering of a ship. 25 He felt the cheering power of spring,

It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's* mirth was wickedness. Rover, a robber or

pirate, a wanderer.

Float, the raft His eye was on the Inchcape float ;*,

which the bell was 30 Quoth* he; "My men, put out the boat, fastened. And row me to the Inchcape Rock,

Quoth, said.

Plague, to tease or And I'll plague* the abbot of Aberbrothok.”


or sailor



annoy, to vex.

* The Inchcape, or Bell Rock, is fourteen miles east of the entrance to the Firth of Tay, and is the site of a celebrated lighthouse, built by Robert Stevenson in 1807-10.

Gurgling, making an irregular sound, as water does when flowing from a bottle.

[ocr errors]

Scour, to travel from
place to place with-
out any set purpose,
as a pirate.
Steers, directs.
Shore, the land wash-
ed by the sea.
Haze, a mist or fog.
Gale, a strong stormy



The boat is lower'd, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go ;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,

And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Down sank the bell with a gurgling * sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the

Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”

Sir Ralph the Rover sail'd away,
He scour'd * the seas for many a day ;
And now, grown rich by plunderd store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.*
So thick a haze * o'erspreads the sky
They cannot see the sun on high ;
The wind hath blown a gale * all day,
At evening it hath died

On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.

Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn * of the rising moon.”
“Can'st hear,” said one, “the breakers * roar ?
For methinks* we should be near the shore ;
Now where we are I cannot tell ;

But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”
They hear no sound, the swell * is strong;
Though the wind hath fallen, they drift* along,
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock :
Cried they, “It is the Inchcape Rock ?” 60
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He cursed himself in his despair;*
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even in his dying fear

One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The fiends below were ringing his knell.*

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Dawn, the light given
before the moon itself
Breakers, waves dash-
ing against the rocks
and breaking into
spray and foam,
Methinks, it seems to
Swell, waves follow-
ing one another in
some general direc-
Drift, the force of
the waves driving the
ship onward.
Despair, without

[ocr errors]

Knell, the sound of a bell rung at a person's death or funeral,

LUCY GRAY.- Wordsworth.


WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850), a great English poet, was born at Cocker. mouth in Cumberland. He was educated at Cambridge. On the death of Southey in 1843, he was made Poet-Laureate. Chief poems: The Excursion, Lyricai Ballads, White Doe of Rylstone, and a very fine collection of Sonnets. OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray:*

Lucy Gray: the inci. And, when I crossed the wild, *

dent on which this

poem is founded took I chanced to see, at break of day,

place near Halifax in The solitary * child.



and uncultivated 5 No mate, no comrade * Lucy knew;

land. She dwelt on a wide moor, *

Solitary, alone, with

out company. The sweetest thing that ever grew

Comrade, friend, com-
Beside a human door !

Moor, an extensive

waste covered with You yet may spy the fawn * at play,

heath, Іо The hare upon the green:

Fawn, the young of But the sweet face of Lucy Gray,

a deer. Will never more be seen.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Oh, many a shaft, at random sent,
Finds mark, the archer little meant !
And many a word at random spoken,
May soothe, or wound, a heart that's broken!

[ocr errors]

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER. — Pope. ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744), the greatest poet of his time. His literary career began at the age of sixteen, when he published the Pastorals. His poems are characterised by a gracefulness of versification that is unequalled. Chief poems: Rape of the Lock, Essay on Man, Moral Epistles, The Dunciad, and translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

FATHER of all ! in every age,
In every clime * adored,

Clime, climate, coun:
By saint, by savage, and by sage, *


Sage, a wise man. Jehovah, Jove, or Lord I 5 Thou Great First Cause, least understood,

Who all my sense confined,
To know but this, that Thou art good,

And that myself am blind ;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill;
And binding nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will:

[ocr errors]

Conscience, the power within us which helps us to know the difference between right and wrong.



Bounty, goodness in bestowing gifts.



What conscience * dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do;
This, teach me more than hell to shun;

That, more than heaven pursue.
What blessings Thy free bounty * gives,

Let me not cast away ;
For God is paid when man receives ;

To enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to earth’s contracted span

Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think thee Lord alone of man,

When thousand worlds are round.
If I am right, Thy grace impart, *

Still in the right to stay ;
If I am wrong, oh, teach my

To find that better way !
Save me alike from foolish pride,

Or impious * discontent,
At aught Thy wisdom has denied,

Or aught Thy goodness lent.

Contracted span, narrow limits; the goodness of God extends to all things created, and not to this world alone.


Impart, to give


Impious, not pious, irreverent, wanting in veneration

and respect for God.

« ElőzőTovább »